Ethiopia: The pain of separation

 I don't care for myself. But the only thing that I couldn't stand is to see my little kid suffer from the agony of separation.

Senait and her husband were married for more than a decade. They have a son, who is now nine years old. The father was the breadwinner and was supporting the family with the meagre income he was getting from driving a taxi. According to Sanait, the family was leading a happy life. But seeking a better life for the family, her husband decided to go to Saudi Arabia.

Then, the husband along with his six friends, left home (Addis Ababa) in 2015 for Saudi Arabia. Senait has never heard from her husband since then, though all his friends returned home after two years.

His friends told her they neither knew her husband's whereabout saying they were separated right at the beginning while travelling via Yemen to Saudi Arabia.

Senait looking at photos of her missing husband in reminiscence. Henok BIRHANU/ICRC

"My son always asks me when his father is coming home, a question I have no answer,"  said Senait with tears pouring down her cheeks.

Senait says she hopes her husband could be traced one day. "I will never give up looking for him till I die." 

She has been looking for her husband for over two years by herself but to no avail. Later she turned to the Ethiopian Red Cross Society for help which transferred the case to the ICRC.

The ICRC is striving to restore family links among families separated by armed conflict or violence or migration.

From January to June, the ICRC received new tracing requests from people looking for 268 missing family members in Ethiopia and abroad and located 34 sought persons.

The ICRC, in partnership with the ERCS, also facilitated the exchange of news for 48,155 separated persons through the provision of free phone calls and helped 468 persons exchange Red Cross Message exchange.